Saturday, April 1, 2023

Sewing Room Tour!

I finally cleaned my sewing room (after, you know, 10 years or whatever) and I thought I'd offer a little tour! Before we begin, I wanted to share with you all of the links to my favorite things you'll see in my sewing room. If there is anything you spot that I forget to link, please just ask.'ll have to ask on my YouTube video as leaving comments here on my blog is darn near impossible. A couple of years ago, my blog was flooded with spam comments and I had to make it more difficult to leave a comment. My apologies for that. But the comment section of this video is open:
Here are some of my recommended sewing must-haves!
In my video, I failed to mention that I have a roommate in my sewing room: Max. He's our toothless wonder. Though he's not very old, we had to have all of his teeth extracted a year ago. This means he has to eat soft food separately from our other cats (Johnny and Tika) who are wild wolves and would surely devour Max's soft food. Since he eats in my sewing room, he pretty much spends his days in there. With me. And his liter box, ahem.
I have had many versions of this wall in my sewing room. But what has worked for me the best is to have all of my tools up and visible for me to see and grab. Hence the multiple pegboards and the supplies on the wall. Artwork by my fave, Chris Uphues!
And I just finished that painted jumpsuit! If you wanna learn how I made it, just get thee here
There's probably a ton that I failed to mention so just ask!
What would I do without wire shelves?! Since leaving teaching in February, I've ordered a ton more for all of my art teacherin' books and supplies. I plan to share a tour of that space, where I 'work' very soon. It's just currently a hot stinky mess. 
AND if you weren't aware that I stepped away from the art room, YEP! I did! After 25 years. I do plan to chat about that in an upcoming podcast next week, so...stay tuned!
Fabric on hangers is seriously THE ONLY way to go! 
I do hope you enjoyed the tour! Stay tuned for more.

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Thursday, March 30, 2023

DIY Painted Jumpsuit!

DIY Painted Jumpsuit!
Hey, y'all! 

Okay, so...I KNOOOOOW I owe y'all a post about my favorite clay projects that I promised you, like, a couple weeks ago. Holy cats, I just looked...I promised that A MONTH ago. 

I'm not sure if y'all are aware but I stepped away from my art room on January 31st. Here I thought I was going to have so much time to return to blogging, creating content and all the rest and look at me. LOOK AT ME! I'm a whole month behind on blogging. Sometimes I wonder, how did I find the time before?! I have no clue. Looking to get back to all the things, including providing y'all with that promised blog post, real soon. But, in the mean time...

I painted a jumpsuit! And it was super fun and easy. I thought I'd share the process. 

So, here you go:

Now, I found my jumpsuit at the thrift. But if the thrift gods are not in your favor and you just want to get started, I created a whole list of supplies for you right here...including some really cute jumpsuits! 
I will say, this did take some time. Especially since I had to build in time for the paint to dry before flipping and painting the other side. The good news is I worked on two other DIYs at the same time (can't wait to share) so I was able to keep myself busy while I waited. 
This jumpsuit is super comfy to wear and I'm in LOVE with it. I'm totally tempted to wear it to NAEA next month (who else is going?!) BUT I have a feeling it will be a little too warm in San Antonio for that. ALSO...the problem with jumpsuits is...
When you gotta go to the bathroom! OMG! 
Thankfully, I can go to the bathroom when I like now that I'm not currently teaching. Pardon me if this is a little too TMI for you BUT...I know you teachers are sitting there nodding your heads. You know what I mean!

Anyway, I just wanted to share! I hope y'all have a fabulous day and I DO HOPE to be back real soon with more posts. 

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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Let's Talk Clay! Part 1

Well hello there, y'all! It's been a minute...and, if you haven't heard, a lot has happened around here. Like, for instance, me stepping away from teaching art in a classroom setting after doing so for 25 years! I KNOW. CRAZY. All the details on THAT very soon but first...a little something that I've been promising on Instagram for quite some time: a big ole post on all things CLAY. 

Let's first cover my supply list of Must-Have's for working with clay:
* TOOTHBRUSHES! I'm so sorry to shout...actually, I'm not. You will thank me later but THIS is what your kids should be using when they slip and score. Buy this set and use them year after year!
* WATER DISHES! This is where we keep our slip. In fact, I use the same set of no-spill cups each year, just add more clay to it. When clay time is over, I let the water evaporate and just leave the dried clay inside. When the new year begins, I just add water and we have insta-slip! Kids dip their brushes here. We also have a set of these just for I don't have to worry about cleaning them out when we switch from clay to painting!
* DOGGIE DISHES! Okay, so this is an alternative to the no-spill cups. I love these! We use these also when painting. So if the other cups are too much for your budget, try these!
* DOILIES! Since I started shouting, now I just can't stop. I LOVE fact, just scroll below and you'll see a ton of my projects features a's from theses bad boys! You can also find them at your local thrift store and yard sale so be on the look out!
*SKEWERS! I think we all know about using skewers with clay but one thing that really always bothered me was how long they were. I was always thinking someone was gonna lose an eye! Not a happy thought. I discovered these shorter skewers a couple years ago and now...this is all we use. 
*TRAYS! Contain all of that dusty mess with trays. I didn't start using trays until recently and I was like WHERE HAS THIS BEEN MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE?! 
* GARLIC PRESSES! Oh man. You can't just get one of these. You're gonna need bunches! I found them here...but I have also found them less expensive at the Dollar Tree and Walmart. 
* REUSEABLE TOWELS! Oh man...I cannot tell you how much this saved the MESS in my room this year. Hear me out: I placed a bin of water on each table with a splash of soap and 2 towels. At the end of each art class, the kids used a towel to both clean their hands and the table. This kept the dust mess down! My custodian friend was so happy. 

The other items you'll find on my list are the air dry clays I've used in the past. I'm also sharing glaze (which is only used on kiln fire clay). I purchase my clay locally from The Clay Lady. She also sells the clay mats I strongly recommend. If you purchase your clay locally, you'll be supporting local businesses. 

And now...on with the show!

Isn't it crazy to think that we are expected to know about all things clay...just cuz we have an art teacherin' degree?! Well, I created a video sharing everything I know about clay. You can catch even more details in this blog post. 

Of course, there are plenty of ways to add beautiful color to ceramics without the hassle of a second fire and of the expense of glaze. I'll share a TON of projects in the second installment of this blog post that do not require glaze...and still look amazing. BUT FIRST...
What is Clay is a video I created several years ago to share with my students on the very first day of working with clay. With my 30 minute classes, we watch the videos and then we spend the rest of class just rolling up our sleeves and getting a little messy. It's a great introduction to clay, no matter what the project. Here's a peak at the video:
And now...a moment from our sponsor. 

Me. I'm the sponsor. 
Many of my projects can also be done with air dry clays, either homemade or store-bought. And if you are kiln-less and would like a little more guidance, I wrote a whole book about it! You can find it here
Okay, y'all. I really thought I could also add all my favorite clay projects also in this blog post BUT...I think I'll save that for the second installment of this series, so stay tuned. Until then, have a good one!

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Sunday, January 8, 2023

Favorite Lessons for Valentines Day and Celebrating LOVE!

Let's talk all things Valentine's and celebrating LOVE, shall we? I'm putting together A TON of lessons in this post from weaving to painting, sculpture to clay all for your heart-themed pleasure. So, let's get started!

This Jen Stark lesson was one my students really enjoyed last year. You can find all the details, including a video, right here
I did this lesson with my kindergarten and third graders last year and both LOVED it. It's so open ended and allows for big messes and exploration. Try doing this on large paper for big, colorful results. I just happened to have a ton of this large yellow construction paper so that's what we used! Full lesson with video right here. 
Wanna do some printmaking? I've done this lesson with first and second grade in the past. Each one is so sweet and allows students to really spend a lot of time exploring printmaking. A hit, I promise! Lesson right here. 
This lesson is one that everyone seems to love! AND each one of these adorable critters comes complete with a how-to-draw video. SO, all ya gotta do is hit play and walk away! Here's the video right here for all animals!
Of course, it's the Year of the Rabbit! So you could use that rabbit drawing to celebrate. 
If you are looking for a weaving project, here's one that my first graders have done nearly every year. It's a great way to introduce weaving and a little sewing too! All the details with plenty of paper weaving videos here. 
My fourth graders LOVED making these! These giant candy hearts were so fun and made quite the impact when we displayed them with a huge candy heart box. Lesson with video here. 
Follow-up blog post can be found here. 
If you want to go a little smaller in scale, you could try this candy heart drawing on for size! Info with video here. 
Many artists have been inspired by the shape of hearts to create their art. In this lesson, students explored four different artists and a variety of media. It's a fun one and we did it in one art class! Lesson with video here. 
Kindergarten had so much fun exploring printmaking with these hearts. We used a book as our inspiration. Lesson here...and check out the lesson below for the follow up project we did!
Aren't they gorgeous?! AND kindergarten made them, y'all! All the details here. 
Can you really celebrate Valentine's Day without celebrating the work of Britto? My first graders reviewed pattern and line with this lesson. We also used bleeding tissue paper and paint sticks for this. So, lots of mixed media! All the details can be found here. 
What's Valentine's Day without a box of chocolates? We learned about the artist Peter Anton and created plaster chocolates and a papier mache box in this lesson. Video right here!
Looking for simple and FUN? Try this Chris Uphues-inspired lesson. This post has a video and a free handout! You can thank me later. The kids LOVE this one!
Feeling ambitious? Try on a school-wide collaborative! In this, my students, kindergarten through fourth grade, each created a heart using a different medium. You can find out who made what and how it call came together, here. 
Several years ago, I had to do jury duty so I created this lesson for my students to do with my sub. That's right, this here is a SUB PLAN. And she rocked it! And so did the kids, of course. Video lesson here. 
This heart-themed clay project is one that I lead the faculty and staff at my school to create. It was an Our Heart Gives Them Wings project and it was so fun to come together as a staff and create. Here's the video I made for the staff to view. 
My second graders used foil and celluclay to create these hearts! I love them, they look so very Jim Dine-y, don't you think? Video lesson and more details right here.
Need a fast and furious, one day art lesson inspired by an artist? This one IS THE BEST! The kids get messy, explore chalk, learn about J Goldcrown...what more could you ask for? Video and more here!
My first graders used up scraps to create the hearts you see above and below. We also learned about positive and negative space. This was a fun one and the results were so stinkin' pretty! Lesson here. 

AND more Chris Uphues love for y'all. These were collage hearts created by second graders and they were just the cutest thing! We added them to our heart printed background, seen below. Lesson here. 
Whew! AND there you have it! I hope you find something here to get you to Valentine's Day! BUT I really believe we can celebrate love all year 'round, don't you? Enjoy!

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